Saturday, 30 April 2011

Wedded...Bliss(fully Ignorant)

Hmm, definitely an interesting day, not busy by any stretch of the imagination...but that's not too much of a surprise given the Royal wedding taking place!
As we thought it might be, the bulk of visitors today were foreign with English not as their main language...mostly French as it happens...but all of them were interested and kept us busy with chat and questions...I don't think that I heard any talk about the wedding, apart from Dave and his slightly republican views! (we don't hold it against him)

Marc H had some trouble with his pottage of'll have a look at the Twitter time line to get an idea of what happened (will be able to go into greater detail when I have access to a proper keyboard instead of this phone one...or perhaps Marc will elucidate in person)
I had some joy with the roast milk recipe I was working on. So far it's set solid which is more than can be said for the last time I tried out...tomorrow we'll find out if it's solid enough to cut into cubes and roast...fingers crossed, though I don't hold out much hope for it being any good to eat!
Robin and Robert worked on a couple of other dishes, but I can't recall what they were called, so rather than waffle on without being able to tell you the names I think I'll call it a night and update you tomorrow....but with a little more detail than I'm providing here =0)


Wednesday, 27 April 2011

May Day, May Day!

Well, blink and you'll have missed the 3 days between the last event over the Easter weekend and this coming May bank holiday weekend of cooking...what you won't have missed is the blanket coverage of the impending Royal extra holiday added for you...and an extra day of work for us, making this another 4 day event.

The Palace, as I mentioned in an earlier update, has the theme of love and romance in order to tie into the wedding theme du jour and we'll probably be talking that up a treat....the food however is less theme related and continues our look into the Harl. M.S. 5401 as it's quite interesting and something we've not done before.
The dishes cooked will be different each day and apart from the usual roasted fare should include, amongst others:

potage of rice, potage of prunes, blawnk de sure, ryse of lumbard, doth, resalsike, gelis of mylk, fruays and a couple of versions of roast mylk again...fingers crossed it's less of a dismal failure this time compared to last!

There are 4 or 5 dishes (plus a roast) planned to be available for us to cook each day, but that's a maximum...if we get busy and get talking, then I would expect to see that number become much smaller...still, talking is what we're paid to do!!
Most of the new recipes (well, new for us to try at least) are sweet dishes, so the savoury fare will be supplied by some of the tried and tested favourites such as fyllets en galentyne, which will be part roasted on Friday for the dish to be cooked on Saturday....fingers crossed that Jamie the fire warder isn't working that day as it's his favourite and there'd be very little left for the rest of us if he got near it ;o)

Friday could be an interesting day...who knows how many, if any visitors we'll see...will it be like a cold wet December day for numbers? Who knows, though it's a safe bet that our core demographic (Royalist history buffs) will be thinner on the ground than usual...I do know that there is a French school party booked in for the morning, not sure how interested they are going to be in us though.
As for the rest of the weeken, the jury is still out....could be busy, could be quiet, only time will tell now. The plan is to keep you all up to speed as we it was last weekend, but that all depends on mobile signal etc. etc. (which was distinctly lacking on Sunday and Monday) well as time and energy...I really can't believe how exhausting last weekend was and 3 days hasn't been long enough to recover either.


Sunday, 24 April 2011

All Quiet On The West(ern) Front.

A much quieter day today than the jam packed one yesterday, still busy, just not as much as yesterday was.

Cooking wise, another positive day was had and with regards to the overall aim of the weekend great strides have been made already...Christmas here we come!

The wine fountain had been going great guns too, this year we seem to have acquired the responsibility to run the thing, though unlike last year the wine is free for visitors...subject to availability and licensing conditions...served between 4ish and 5 in the afternoon on days that we are cooking, all you need to do is ask for a token at the information centre then swap it for a glass of red or white towards the end of the afternoon...just check the details when you buy your ticket to avoid confusion or disappointment!

Tomorrow holds more of the same for us, though we think we'll be busy again which would be good as the busy days pass really quickly.

Time for an early night for a change now, TTFN

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Good Grief It's Good Friday.

Blimey, what a day that was!

Glorious weather and a shut Windsor castle certainly brought in the crowds, no ideas as to the numbers, but the kitchen was full for most of the day, as was the rest of the building.....and the line from Zulu goes, "there's thousands of them!" and there certainly were.

It was good to see forum member and librarian about town Johnna visit us for the day having travelled over from the States to attend the Leeds food symposium...I think she had a good day, but we'll have to wait for a full report I guess.

No real news from the shop floor to mention, food was cooked, visitors engaged and entertained....job done. Same menu again tomorrow, just a bit of work to do on the timings and we should be there....lots of thoughts and ideas have already been added to the proverbial pot to work on towards Christmas, so the weekend is already doing what it was planned to...and that was only day one!

Off for some sleep now, TTFN

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Easter Eggstravaganza!

well, not really, but it makes a good enough title!

Better late than never I suppose with the plans for this Easter weekend in the kitchens at Hampton, what are they??
This weekend will see us starting on work for the next Xmas event...yes, you read that right, beat that supermarkets with your Easter eggs on the shelves on January 1st and Xmas cards in stock after Halloween!
Over the course of the year we will be playing with a number of the ideas that we want to try out to see how we can improve on the Xmas event from last year but without the pressure of the actual event and a "must not fail" situation. This weekend....a 2 course meal!

Fairly similar to the last Xmas gig, the bulk of the dishes will be roast and the menu will be the same each day (though I've packed the book away ready for tomorrow so can't tell you the details right now...doh!!...roast beef, mutton and lamb are there along with chickens on the spit, that much I can recall), with none of the daily variations that we tried at Christmas...boring perhaps, but much more historically accurate.

The "meal" will be served at 4.00 pm for the 1st course and 4.30 pm for the second...I say served, but that would be a bit of artistic licence as what I really mean is "taken out of the kitchen"....Where to?
Our office as it happens, though that's not important as anywhere out of the kitchen is all that really matters. Once it's cooked the food isn't important (other than checking for consistent results, something else we need to work on), the whole point of the work is the cooking portion of the day, sorting the timings, making sure we can get everything finished at the same time; so the dishes will be plated up then removed to simulate the service part of the proceeding. That's not to say that the food will be wasted, far from it, the team will eat it all after hours and leftovers will be frozen as usual for later use...just that you won't get the chance to see that part of the foods journey....sorry.
Hopefully the weekend will show us the best way to run with the expanded menu in the future and that will result in an even better Christmas event at the end of the year....many, many more ideas to try/think through/test out towards that event in order to really up the game from last time.

A short hop after Easter...the next weekend...sees us back in the kitchens again for the Royal Wedding day and then the May Day bank Holiday. The Palace theme for that weekend is love and romance, though how that's going to translate into the kitchens I really can't say....but Dave has been asked to make something suitable out of sugar or marchpane.
Other than that it'll be a fairly "normal" weekend of trying out recipes we've not cooked before from Harly M.S. 5401 so there should be something of interest to keep us all busy...hopefully I'll get a chance to give you some more details once I get the book of plans unpacked for this weekend.

Updates over the events are, as always, intended but mobile signal coverage seems to have decreased massively with my new, pffft!! you'll have to make do with what you get I'm afraid.

Think that about covers it for now, so have a good Easter weekend and enjoy the unseasonably warm weather....good for visitors (though to be honest hot weather makes for a quiet weekend indoors as everyone is enjoying the gardens outside)....but not so good if you're wearing some lovely woollen clothes....good job some of us have a little more ventilation than planned eh ;0)


Sunday, 10 April 2011

Apropos Of Nothing...

So, out for a family dinner yesterday and a situation presented itself that I really wasn't prepared for. It was a little pub restaurant, the usual sort of selection was offered on the menu...all looked acceptable and plenty of choice was available...nothing odd there.
Drinks were ordered first, then the food and I plumped for the chicken fillet "burger"...with chips (fries) and was now that a fateful choice was made...which in turn has lead to this post. At the bottom of the menu were a series of "additions" that could be had to accompany the various burgers, such as cheese or, what I opted for, a chili coating.
Now I was assuming a chili dressing/sauce would be lightly spread over the meat, perhaps a sweet chili dressing Thai style....what I wasn't expecting, nor anyone else round the table for that matter, was a bun containing a broiled chicken breast covered in chili con carne!!
I have to say that the acronym WTF was all I could think, I mean who in their right mind would a) think that chili con carne should go in a bun or b) that it was/is a suitable partner to grilled chicken???
So what did I do? Well the English thing obviously...I ate it with a knife and fork, without a word to the staff! As it happens, the chicken was really good, as was the chili...they just really, really didn't belong together.
The moral of the tale is a simple one...make sure you check what it is you're ordering when you go out for dinner!
Easter and May weekend updates for you some time next week....once I've finished sorting out the May weekend.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

What A Start.... the weekend!

Carter gets his pocket picked waiting for his train and has his wallet stolen with all his cards, cash and most importantly...return train ticket in!! Fortunately all cards managed to be cancelled pretty sharpish and he's talked Dave into giving him a lift most of the way home...just the tedious nature of getting a replacement card sorted now.

Ross on the other hand was half way to the Palace when he stopped for a rest and found that the frame on the motorbike had snapped!?!? So a tentative and slow limp back home in order to get the bike to a welder for fixing and to collect a hire car in order to re-start the journey.....not the most auspicious start to a weekend I think!

Still, on the up side, forum regular (and regular visitor) Terry L and fire warder Liam shared a birthday at the start of the week, so we're all planning on popping to the pub tonight for some belated celebratory drinks (though I think it's fair to assume that both the birthday boys in question have already celeb rated in suitable fashion already ;o) .....should make a nice change and a good end to the first of this seasons long summer hours based days.

Mobile phone signals are still atrocious in the digs at night, so I'm making full use of the office PC at this moment while I'm waiting for some printing to finish...can't promise any better communications later on, but who I said, Twitter is the most likely as it only needs a brief connection to send an update, but if things change then I may well add another blog update later on.

Anyway, time marches to change then onwards to de-bone the mutton!


Friday, 1 April 2011

April Addendum

realised after I posted yesterday that I hadn't really said a great deal about plans for this weekend of cookery...doh!

Well once again we'll be looking at recipes from M.S. Harl. 5401 along with the usual stab at roasting in front of the great fire.
Recipes planned include syrop of wardens, rost mylk, potage of prunes and ryshellis of frute along with several others, though to be honest I've no idea how much we'll get done!

Mobile signal (and the energy to post at the end of the now long summer days) willing, I'll keep you in the proverbial loop as we go, but it may well be that Twitter ends up being my updates of choice, so don't forget to check out the timeline over the weekend.